Views of our people taken on board
To help us plan, and ensure that the views of our people as the users of our spaces were taken on board, we established a workplace project team to look at what both the business and our people would need from the new space – and what technology we’d need to turn our ‘right place right time’ vision into a reality.
We knew we had to increase the size of the office, but the extent of that changed throughout the pandemic, as we moved from working predominantly on client sites to a hybrid model with a greater emphasis on Opencast-led spaces. This gave us an opportunity to define with ambition what an Opencast office should be.
Our old office was small and simple. But, with only one conference room, 25 desks, and no way for teams to make reservations, the space was no longer fit for purpose.
We had 27 people at Opencast when we moved into our original office in 2016, so the space made sense at the time, but we went into lockdown in 2020 with 110 people. Two years later and we now have over 350 people working for us. We knew we needed to address spatial challenges.
A key question I needed to answer in the workplace project was: how do we ensure that people who come into the office to work will get a desk?
We’d previously relied on a spreadsheet to track office usage and desk availability. It was a struggle to keep track of all the moving pieces and information was often missing. It was time for something new.
We knew we needed a space that was more than just a home base with seating; a space that didn’t just support collaboration but encouraged it. A space that would be both inviting and equipped with technology that enabled hybrid work.
Staying true to our user-focused ethos, we began extensive user research and consultation to design a user-centred, intentional space supported by technology.